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Acquisitive OCU swoops for London multi-utility specialist

The acquisition will support OCU’s ability to build and connect large-scale private wire grid connections, install entire networks, and explore new energy-related opportunities, a priority for the group throughout 2023 and beyond.

The deal with Modus marks the fifth acquisition in just over 12 months for OCU.

It follows the acquisition of InICT, a Leeds-based fibre-optic specialist, Opals, a regional multi utilities hub, Andrews Associates, a Surrey-based power systems design and engineering service, and FKS, a Wigan-based telecom installation service.

OCU also reported a rise in revenue by 34% to £295m for the year ended 30 April 2022 (2021: £220m) and expects revenues in its current financial year to April 2023 to substantially outperform 2022.

Modus employs around 30 staff and specialises in building complex power networks and substations including large-scale solar farms and battery storage facilities.

It also offers clients design, build services on projects ranging from low voltage to high voltage 132kV electrical infrastructure, pressure gas infrastructure and all related plant and civil construction.

Clients of Modus range from UK Power Networks, Leep Utility & Optimal Power Networks to major developers including British Land and Landsec and energy providers such as Ampyr Energy.

Michael Hughes, chief executive officer of OCU, said: “If the UK is to reach Net Zero by 2050, we’ll need a mix of renewable power to get there.

“We know there is a pressing need to make alternative energy sources more accessible for people across the country and working with firms like Modus will be part of the solution.

“The deal will also help us provide the infrastructure to help homes and businesses benefit from green energy sources.”

John Cahill, managing director of Modus, said: “The government’s recent change in stance on VAT for battery storage is a clear indicator that demand is growing for alternative energy sources for both home and business owners.

“We’re delighted to become part of OCU Group who share our commitment to support the UK’s energy transition and look forward to capitalising on new opportunities together.”